Naomi Feinberg (1919—2009)
As a sculptor, Naomi Feinberg worked primarily in stone. Using hand tools and a direct carving technique, she developed an intuitive approach concerned with the harmony of shapes and vitality of forms. She combined concepts of primitive art with contemporary thought to produce arresting and highly personal works. She developed as an artist and honed her skills in mid life, achieving the highest level of mastery and making up for lost time with a spectacular body of works which ranges in size and material and can be jarringly evocative in their representations of the human form or wholly abstract.
Born Naomi Levine in New York City in 1919, she grew up during the great depression, and was a young adult during World War II. At age 17 she met and married Sidney Feinberg, who was a writer, painter, photographer, calligrapher, and ultimately became an award winning book designer. Sidney Feinberg enlisted and fought in World War II. As a couple, they emerged from those dark times with a passionate love of the visual arts, that profoundly shaped their lives and legacies.
Naomi Feinberg worked creatively in needlecraft and fashion as a young woman and later turned to ceramics and ceramic sculpture, which she studied with Geraldine Peterson, Katherine Salas, and Regis Brodie. She was for many years a member of her husband’s Graphic Arts and Design Studio. She began sculpting in stone in the early 40s. She studied sculpture with Philip Darling, Jose De Creeft, and Lorrie Goulet at the New School, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Students League, and the School of Visual Arts.
Naomi was a member of Studio 725, a consortium of women who as visual artists and sculptors maintained a communal studio at 41 Union Square in Manhattan. There she met and became a close friend of Dorothy Dehner. Greatly admiring each other’s artistic output, Naomi and Dorothy exchanged works, and a number of Dehner’s works bear dedication inscriptions to Naomi Feinberg.
Naomi’s works have been presented in group and solo shows, and were represented in numerous exhibitions held by the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. She is included in the archives of American art at the Smithsonian Institute. A relative late comer to the art world, Naomi Feinberg emerged as highly accomplished, multi-faceted artist who juggled architectural coherence with a preoccupation with the human form, to create works that are both experimental and primitive.